Working-class women during WWI were assured the mysterious radium they painted with, that coated them head to foot, was safe. It was not. This glowing new material made clock faces, and the women who coated them, shine. How could something so pretty be so deadly? Kate Moore brings us The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women on Tuesday, May 9, at 7 pm. Moore uses the real women's stories to personalize this tale of incredible corporate corruption and the battle for worker rights.
In her staff pick, Rosemary writes: "Be forewarned: this book will make you very, very angry. Now we may look at early 20th Century attitudes toward radium with shock (radium toothpaste? Jockstraps?). Corporate America knew the danger, even if consumers didn’t. And no one was more vulnerable than the literally glowing women who painted the in-demand radium dials of watches and instruments. Their years of suffering and legal conflicts led to safer working conditions for others. Think of their legacy when someone cavalierly proposes rolling back worker protections."
Can’t make it? To request a signed or personalized copy, call 919-828-1588 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org (at least 48 hours in advance for email) to check availability.